Digital Marketing is not the faster, cheaper and/or easier way to get your message out to the world.
If you stick to that mantra you won't be making any of the many foibles and fumbles that are currently happening in the digital spheres. One of those is the now-classic email blast about the charity event you are taking part in, and how you have committed to raise a significant amount of money for a very worthy cause. Don't get me wrong, asking for help from others is critical, and if it's something as important as a charitable organization that is helping to make the world a better place, then using these digital marketing channels to spread that message far and wide make sense, but you must (like anything else) be strategic about it.
Simply blasting your online social network or spamming your email address book may get you some results, but it won't get you the best results.
Yes, there are many people in your social network that will find it more than acceptable to get a mass email message from you. They love you, they care about you and would probably give you money even if you started telemarketing to them during dinner, but the "big win" is in how you treat those you are connected to who are nothing more than second/third degree connections (semi-acquaintances).
Why not use the channels to tell a story?
It's so easy to cut and paste a template email. It's so easy to start off your communications with, "apologies for the mass email blast, but," etc... but if you really do care, and you really do want to raise some money/awareness, why not do the right thing and take the time to get it right? Here are some basic steps (and they'll work equally well if you're asking for money or trying to get people to buy your product/services).
6 Ways To Raise Money (And Awareness):
- Let people know up-front what's going on. Update your Facebook profile or tweet out on Twitter, "I'm going to be doing something special for a very special charity. Does anyone want to help me?"
- Ask for help. As you can see from the simple message above, right away you are opening yourself up to questions and potential people who can help you better connect.
- Show me why you care before asking for help. Publish content - text, images, audio and video - show the world why this is important to you, your family and the community at large.
- Support others. Don't just ask for help... get active in other people's communities who are related to the charity. It could be other people looking to raise money or simply a news portal that is aggregating information about the cause. The more active you become in other people's communities the more inclined others will be to help you.
- Tell a story. Don't make one up. Tell a human story - with emotion. By showing pieces of content and acting like a human being in these online social networks (versus a robot-like form letter/email), people will connect with you. They won't be able to resist. Real stories told in a very real human way are the most powerful... and don't forget to thank them when they do something for you.
- Copy David Armano. Before doing anything, please read this: Please Help Us Help Daniela's Family (and read the comments too).
Don't be lazy.
Most people are lazy. They're busy with their day-to-day lives, and they think that the easiest way to get things done is by blasting everyone they know with emails (or through Facebook or Twitter or Linkedin). They're wrong... and it's lazy. Even taking the extra time to personalize each email with a name and a sincere note will make all of the difference in the world.
Marketing a message should not be an act of laziness, but an act of care and sincerity. Those that take the time to care and are sincere about it are usually the ones that are successful.